Judge says she can’t halt Virginia mountain pipeline blasts

Virginia News
Mountain Valley Pipeline

This July 18, 2018, file photo, shows the Mountain Valley Pipeline route on Brush Mountain in Virginia. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has declined to block the blasting of bedrock on a Virginia mountain where a natural gas pipeline is supposed to be laid.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Dillon says she lacks authority to step in to a dispute over the Mountain Valley Pipeline because a Bent Mountain landowner already had sought action from federal regulators.

The property owner says the blasting could contaminate well water. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and pipeline officials have said they’ve not seen evidence of the potential harm described by the owner.

The 303-mile (488-kilometer) pipeline will come through West Virginia and Virginia.

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